As of late, Washington DC has been plagued with thunderstorms, flash flood warnings and rain showers. It is set to rain all next week and as urban beekeepers, we have been curious as to how this affects the bees. After a bit of research, we realized there is little to no scientific research on how these rainstorms affect the bees in the summer. Overall, we know that rain limits productive pollination and affects the bees ability to gather loads to feed themselves and the brood. The New York times stated that in various countries such as India and Spain, the excess rain and climate change has reduced honey production up to 70%. However, the article did say that an increase in urban beekeeping in these cities has shown the urban bees are not as affected by the rain. Nevertheless, we know that bees and water is an equation for a rough time for beekeepers. Opening the hives even on a cloudy day usually causes aggressive behavior against our beekeepers and a few sore stings.
Aside from a few swarms, our bees have been doing fine this summer. It has been very rainy and we hope that it passes soon so our hives will go back to thriving. Rain, rain go away!
-Katherine Berry and Brooke Talbot